Band: Catfish and the Bottlemen.
Venue: O2 Academy Birmingham
Date: 8th November 2015.
When Darryl told me our tickets were on The Balcony for Catfish and the Bottlemen I thought he was attempting to be punny. Turns out it he wasn’t and we had the best view in the house without getting crushed by bottle boys and girls.
Mental doesn’t cover it! It just didn’t stop.
The lights faded, smoke filled the room the crowd compacted letting out squeals for Catfish to grace us with their presence. The opening bars to ‘Rango’ sent the crowd into a frenzy, a torrent of bodies ripped around the stalls whilst still belting out every single word. At this point I was happy to be safe up in the rafters. Even more so when I noticed the vent in the roof of the building dripping with what I can only assume was sweat. Clearly a sign of a good time.
A set so fast paced you didn’t get a moment to breath until the stripped back ‘Hourglass’ and the unveiling of new track ‘7’. But even in the quieter moments the crowd harmonised hanging on Van McCann’s every last word.
It was ‘Homesick’ which left McCann all choked up as 3,859 people sang the first verse for the Bottlemen. A magical moment which not only overwhelmed those on stage but everyone in the crowd; a moment which will make this gig one to remember.
It’s a strange notion to compare Catfish and the Bottlemen’s fans to 1Directioners, but they are so similar in the way scream in delight at the turn of each track and the very presence of Van McCann. It’s incredible for Catfish to have so many devoted fans in such a small space of time. There wasn’t one person in the room who wasn’t singing along with the Welsh rockers.
This gig reminded me of the very reason why I love to see music live. It’s not just your favourite band playing all their best hits to a sold out crowd. It’s the intimate moment which you share with your favourite band. It’s leaving the venue as a walking jukebox reciting the setlist because it was flawless, impossible to pick the best track. It’s waking up the morning after with the sound of what they played still ringing in your ears.
Catfish and the Bottlemen have one album, 11 tracks in total, all of which they can play live and incredibly so.
Imagine what they could do with another album to craft into their set?
What tracks would they drop from ‘The Balcony?’
At least I can say I’ve heard them all live and it was insane. Can you say the same?